Sulphur Springs residents want 'actions behinds ideas' to end gun violence

Neighbor after neighbor stepped up to the mic Monday to share what they think is missing to protect Tampa’s residents as part of the second community forum on gun violence with Tampa police

The second forum was held in Sulphur Springs in District 2. Police said they want community members to share what officers could do better to prevent shootings. So far this year, Tampa police said officers investigated eight homicides.

"What we would like from the police department and the city is to put some actions behind the ideas that we come up with. We did all last year the marching and now it’s time for action," said Johnny Johnson, a community activist with Rise Up for Peace.

Teens and adults threw out ideas for change, including social media outreach and monitoring, more surveillance and intentional communication from police with the community. Rise Up for Peace founder Patricia Brown said it’s going to take everyone’s help to make a difference, not just families like hers who lost loved onces.

MORE: Tampa police lay out plan to reduce gun violence, ask for public input

"Let’s please come together as one. I mean this is not just one area or here or there. This has affected everybody in every community, and we need to get together to come to a solution," said Brown.

Interim police chief Ruben Delgado said shootings are down 12 percent in the past five months, and there were 15 less shootings in January than last year. But officers said they know more work is needed, and they want the community’s help to do it. 

"We have to try something because trying someone is better than nothing at all," said Johnson. 

Delgado said hey added more officers to District 2 to help with crime. Police said the forums will continue, so they can hear from different community members. It was a smaller crowd on Monday than the first meeting, so neighbors said they want to hear from more people to help come up with an action plan and roll it out.